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Solving Problems with Nature - Naturally

Certified Wildlife Biologist
Wildlife Author - Wildlife Lecturer - Wildlife Photographer
Non-Lethal Control of Bats since 1983

NH Nature

New Hampshire Nature Notes by Eric Orff

Wednesday 03/30/2011 Only 12 Miles to Spring

This cold late spring has me slowed up too it seems as it has been a couple of weeks since I last posted. But spring has kicked in and is at hand and soon I'll be giddy again as usual come spring. Last week I headed down to Manchester. When I left my house all the fields nearby were pretty much covered by snow and looked pretty wintry. To my amazement when I got to Hooksett, just 12 miles away, the fields were bare and it was spring so close. I had not been that far south in a couple weeks so it was kind of a shock to actually see spring that close. I love to walk outside and feel the bare earth underfoot. And the smell of spring fresh earth is hard to beat. As I traveled back north I noticed the fields along route 28 in Allenstown and Pembroke kind of half bare, but when I got home sure enough I was still looking at winter.

But the ice do go out of the Suncook River in my view from my house by Monday morning 14th. And I heard my first red-winged blackbird that morning too. And in the last week since, the alfalfa field, across the way, has slowly, ever so slowly, shed much of its snow. The corn fields nearby have turned chocolate in the last week as well. So bare ground and spring is just about here. (Lets not talk about the "heavy" snow storm expected Friday.)

Ducks and gees galore it seems. Yes the next week to ten days will be wacky with waterfowl. This will be the week of more ducks and geese moving into and through the state of any week in the year. Every pond and puddle ice free will be dotted with a pair of ducks literally surfing the edge of ice north. I can't help but bob my head this way and that as I drive along spotting the pairs all around. What a week it will be.

But spring is running a good week or two late this year compared to usual based on my memory of recent years. And good old last year had a record early spring that had the snow gone early March around here. In fact I had tilled the garden had crops in by the second week of April. When I glance at the garden at my mom's yesterday it was still mostly snow covered! I'll not be sowing cucumber seeds the third week of April this year. Oh how glorious last year was with the early start to gardening and the endless, perfect summer. We can only hope that this below average temperature span we are in now somehow turns around into a real spring. I am so anxious to feel and smell the good warm earth.


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